Peshawar, Jul 12: At least 45 militants were killed in Pakistan's restive northwest in one of the deadliest strikes by US drones, signaling Washington's resolve to step up assault on terror groups in this country despite growing strains in ties with its key ally.
The unusually heavy barrage of three missile strikes in a span of 12 hours, targeting militant hideouts in north and South Waziristan took one of the largest death tolls in the controversial unacknowledged air campaign.
The drone attacks commenced on Monday night when unmanned air craft unleashed nine missiles into a suspected militant compound and a vehicle in north Waziristan, killing 25 militants, local officials were quoted by TV channels as saying.
Few hours later, the drone struck again in nearby South Waziristan firing missiles and killing five militants. The drones reappeared early this morning over the area firing two missiles at another compound in North Waziristan killing 15 militants.
It was the second largest death toll in drone campaign. In 2009 a missile attack killed 70 militants in South Waziristan.
The stepped up drone campaign follows on the heels of Obama Administration's announcement that it was suspending more than one-third of the massive USD 2 billion military assistance to Pakistan. PTI